How to Obtain a Death Certificate in Louisiana

By Nancy Chen
Louisiana, death certificates, family

birth marriage and death image by Warren Millar from Fotolia.com

A death certificate is a document that officially states that a person is deceased, writes Professor Kenneth V. Iserson in his article, Death Certificate. Death certificates are required for various legal matters such as claiming life insurance, obtaining death benefits, and settling estates, according to Iserson. Additionally, death certificates are used to provide informative statistics for public health departments. If your family member recently passed away in Louisiana and you need his or her death certificate, you are required to provide the proper identification, complete an application form, and pay a service fee in order to obtain a death certificate.

Get an "Application for Certified Copy of Birth/Death Certificate" form and fill it out (see link under Resources).

Find out the form(s) of identification you are required to provide in order to obtain a death certificate. Since Louisiana is a "closed record" state, death certificates are not accessible to the general public; if you are requesting a death certificate, you must furnish the proper identification in order to obtain a death record.

Acceptable identification is divided into primary and secondary documents; if you choose to present a primary document, examples include a driver's license, a U.S. or foreign-issued passport, or documentation of U.S. citizenship. Examples of secondary documents include tax forms, adoption papers, your vehicle title, and insurance policy. You can locate a complete list of various acceptable forms of identification by navigating to the link listed under Resources.

Submit your application, service fee, and identification to the Vital Records Registry. You can do this in three ways: in person, by mail, or via the Internet, fax or telephone.

If you wish to order the document in person, bring all the materials to one of the 10 Vital Records Service Centers in Louisiana (see Resources to locate a service center closest to you). Your request will be fulfilled on the same day or within 24 hours, according to the Vital Records Registry.

Alternatively, if you prefer to obtain the death certificate by mail, submit your application, a copy of your identification and fees to: Vital Records Registry, P.O. Box 60630 New Orleans, LA 70160. The registry states that you will receive the death certificate within four to six weeks.

Lastly, you can order a death record via the Internet, fax or telephone through an authorized provider, such as VitalChek Network (see Resources for more information on VitalChek).

About the Author

Nancy Chen is a professional writer and owner of a pet care business. She is also certified to teach English to middle and secondary school students. Chen holds a bachelor's degree in English and comparative religions from Tufts University, as well as a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University.

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